My contractor has wired one GFCI receptacle in the main bathroom on the same circuit as a normal receptacle in our en-suite bathroom (it is less than a foot from the sink). he says that since they are on the same circuit that the GFCI in the en-suite is not needed. Is this correct? Do I still have the same protection - say if I dropped a running hairdryer into the en-suite sink - as I would if there was a GFCI receptacle in the en-suite?

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    Some useful information about GFCI's: Most will fail after about 10 years. The older ones will fail "active;" that is, they will still carry current and pose a potential shock hazard. The newer ones (after mid 2006) will no longer supply electrical current when they fail. See familyhandyman.com/electrical/wiring-outlets/… – Robert Harvey Oct 20 '14 at 17:07
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    Something to double-check is that none of the lighting circuits are downstream of the GFCI. If the GFCI trips and leaves you in the dark, it's potentially producing a new hazard as it saves you from another. – Eric Lippert Oct 20 '14 at 20:24
  • @RobertHarvey I replace the GFCIs in my house every 2-3 years. They are fast enough to save a life, but seem to be volatile after a while. And for a few dollars per year, replacing them is not a huge financial burden. – user4302 Oct 21 '14 at 4:05
  • You should not have more than 1 GFCI on a circuit, and it should be the first one wired from the breaker box. If it is not the first one, only those outlets downstream of the GFCI, everything between the GFCI and the breaker box is not protected. – Keith Barrows Nov 13 '14 at 21:46

If wired correctly, this is fine.

GFCI outlets typically have line terminals (power input) and load terminals (power to other outlets, which will be protected by the GFCI.)

Your contractor will have wired the outlet in the second bathroom to the load terminals of the GFCI in the main bathroom. There should also be a sticker on the outlet stating that it is GFCI protected, as it can be less obvious when the outlet stops working but no breakers are blown what's going on. However, these stickers don't last well, so they may not have bothered (or may have stuck it on the inside of the outlet plate so it would be found early in troubleshooting)

If you have concerns, you should purchase (not too expensively) an outlet tester that includes a GFCI test function, plug it in to verify correct wiring and then press the test button to verify that the GFCI trips as it should.

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    @kers: Besides using the testers, you can also press the test button on the GFI and see if the other outlet ceases working, then reset the GFI and verify the other outlet comes alive. While this test is not 100% exhaustive, only a truly bonehead electrician might wire the outlet so it passes this test yet is still dangerous. – wallyk Oct 20 '14 at 15:07
  • If I remember correctly, a GFCI outlet or breaker can protect two downstream outlets. So using a GFCI outlet, you get three on one circuit. With a GFCI breaker you get two outlets on one circuit (my outside outlets are on a GFCI breaker, and there are two, which passes code here) – user4302 Oct 21 '14 at 4:06
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    @Snowman - I don't think that's correct. My kitchen was remodeled ~3 years ago, with permits and inspections, and has a GFCI outlet protecting 4 other outlets (the second circuit has the GFCI protecting 3 additional outlets). This is in California but I don't know what revision of the NEC was in effect. – DoxyLover Oct 21 '14 at 7:39
  • @snowman, this is NOT a code in any area I have heard of. If this is actually true in your area it must be a written amendment to the national code. – Speedy Petey Oct 23 '14 at 1:36
  • Here in Colorado we have a GFCI in the basement with 3 outdoor sockets connected around the house. Our kitchen also has a GFCI with 3 other outlets in the kitchen. We also added a new bathroom downstairs and it has a GFCI with 2 other outlets after it. All passed inspections. – Keith Barrows Nov 13 '14 at 21:45

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